Thursday, April 30, 2009

After the Fall

Just came across this article illustration from the New York Times of April 18: Obamanomics: Redefining Capitalism After the Fall by Richard W. Stevenson.

It took only moment to recognize that the dripping paint is roughly in the shape of a map of the United States.


Monday, April 27, 2009

NPR on the Power Grid

A couple weeks ago, we explored maps about the U.S. power grid, and related energy topics. This week, National Public Radio is running a series of stories on our aging power distribution system. Their website includes an interactive map:

The nation’s electricity grid is facing a crisis -- it’s outdated and unprepared for increasing demand and a future that includes more renewable sources of energy. A new digital smart grid is part of the picture envisioned by advocates, as is building new electricity infrastructure.
The maps and articles include data on sources of power, location of power plants, and the potential for solar and wind power generation.

Thanks to Katie for the heads up!


Food Matters

Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman:

An apple a day keeps the world's problems at bay?
Bittman offers a no-nonsense rundown on how government policy, big business marketing, and global economics influence what we choose to put on the table each evening. He demystifies buzzwords like "organic," "sustainable," and "local" and offers straightforward, budget-conscious advice that will help you make small changes that will shrink your carbon footprint -- and your waistline.

Other examples of apples in maps and maps on apples.


Labels: ,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Texas Divided

More silly speculation about Texas... On Monday, I posted maps speculating on Texas Secession. One of the common myths about Texas history is that the terms under which the Republic of Texas joined the United States was that they had the right to secede... well their defeat in the Civil War actually settled that... but one of the terms that WAS agreed to at the time was that Texas has the right to subdivide into (up to) five states!

FiveThirtyEight speculates on how Texas might be divided, and the subsequent impact on the division of power between Red and Blue:

The end result of this exercise is that Republicans could net as many as six more seats in the Senate, and Democrats two. What are they waiting for?

Of course, it would never happen. Texans are too attached to their state's shape to ever consider such an astute political maneuver. There is an entire industry built upon selling kitschy souvenirs in the shape of Texas. It is not to be messed with.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Newest addition to my state map postcard collection: Oklahoma.

I can scratch one more state of my "Want list"

Thanks, Christine!

Labels: ,

Name Mapping

The Name Mapper at the Baby Name Wizard tracks names of babies born in the United States, as reported by the Social Security Administration (SSA), then places them on a map or a timeline indicating its popularity by state from 1960 through 2007:

For some reason, Cartophiliac was not listed, so I went with the next nearest name: Carter (from the surname that originated in the Middle Ages as an occupational name for someone who used a cart to transport goods).


Monday, April 20, 2009

Texas Secession?

Last week, during all the hoopla surrounding Tax Day and Tea Parties, Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, suggested that Texas just might have to secede if they are not happy about taxes.

Picking up on that note, has created a little map to illustrate this possibility, and suggest that only Republicans would be sorry to see them go...

In fact, it would seem that Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has already jumped the gun on that notion. The Huffington Post noticed that the State Department had listed Texas as a foreign country. After it came to their attention, the error was corrected, but not before HP got a screen capture of the list.

This is of course not the first time that an independent Texas has been mentioned here at Cartophilia. (See Roswell, Texas.)

On a related note, the bloboganda blog, tries to explain the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, by describing a scenario wherein a portion of Mexico declares independence and calls itself "The Republic of Texas". Would Americans stand for that?

Of course the solution to that scenario could simply be resolved. The United States could sell the State of Texas to the Republic of Texas, and pay off some of the National Debt...

UPDATE 4/21: Black Maps: For the love of God, let Texas have her way!

UPDATE 4/23: The Electoral Map on Texas Secession: would scenarios be like North Korea or Slovakia?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Peoples Republic of America

This is from an April 1 post on the Very Small Array blog:

This simple picture (in less than 1000 words) suggests an alternate history for the United States where in the aftermath of a communist revolution/civil war, the nation is divided between the "Peoples Republic of America" and the "Republic of America" on a little island off the coast (see China).

In this alternate history, is there some other anti-communist world power patrolling the Long Island Sound with their Seventh Fleet? What is to stop the PRA hordes from filing across the Brooklyn Bridge? Shouldn't "America" be spelled "Amerika"?


Labels: ,

Friday, April 17, 2009

High-Speed Rail in America

President Obama, as part of the stimulus package, has proposed investment in a high-speed rail network that would "transform the nation’s transportation system by rebuilding existing rail infrastructure while developing a comprehensive high-speed intercity passenger rail network through a long-term commitment at both the federal and state levels."

Here in Ohio, we are excited about the possibility of the so-called "3-C Corridor". A high speed system that would connect Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati (via Dayton).

I'm excited by the possibility of hopping on a train for a high-speed trip to one of the 3-C cities, perhaps for a sporting event or concert. Connect us to the 4th "C", Chicago, and the idea of a weekend visit sounds a lot easier and more comfortable (instead of after a 7-hour drive).


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Real Power Grids

More serendipitous cartography.

The other day I was asked a question at the library reference desk:

"What are the power grids in the United States?"

The first thing I thought of was one of my favorite boardgames, Power Grid (see earlier post on the Power Grid game):

Of course, what she wanted to learn was how the national power grid is arranged for distribution of electricity. With only a little bit of searching, I found these maps on the Department of Energy website. Interestingly there is no "national power grid" in the United States. The continental United States is divided into three main power grids:

This one reminds me of the game map above:

Electricity is generated as it is used. There is very little ability to store electricity. Because of this instantaneous nature, the electric power system must constantly be adjusted to ensure that the generation of power matches the consumption of power. On continental U.S. power grids, roughly 150 Control Area Operators serve this function by using computerized control centers to dispatch generators as needed.
Folks that are interested in finding ways to enhance electrical power generation in this country, without additional greenhouse gasses, are looking for alternatives. Coincidentally, an old friend of mine told me that he has completed a Master's Degree in Alternative Energy. He is primarily interested in wind power. We've had interesting discussions on generation and distribution of wind power. One of the problems is that many of the best locations for wind power generation are far from the most populated areas:

The Aleutian Islands of Alaska have the greatest potential, but also possibly insurmountable roadblocks to distribution to the rest of the national grids (let alone the rest of Alaska). Some of the best areas for generation near population centers are along Lake Michigan and Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, many of the people living there, and many in the Tourist Industry, are opposed to development of wind farms in these areas. NIMBY

I just noticed that the latest issue of Wired magazine has a cover story on
7 Ways to Fix the Grid "Demand for electricity is expected to increase by as much as 40 percent in the next two decades—more than twice the population growth rate." The article offers proposals on ways to make distribution of energy in the United States more efficient, and includes this and other mappish graphics:

Finally, since I mentioned greenhouse gasses earlier, I'll throw in this recent post from The Map Scroll titled, "Australia is the Canary in the Global Warming Coal Mine." Interesting reading.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tracey Ullman's Putting on America

Advertisement on the back cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly:

Comedienne Tracey Ullman returns to Showtime with another season of her sketch comedy program, State of the Union. I've always thought she was funny. Too bad I don't get Showtime. I do, however, like her outfit.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Manhattan Euro

This morning I highlighted the fictitious Amero coin with a map on it. Then this evening, on the Cartografie Twitter feed I saw a link to a real coin, the Dutch Euro, featuring the island of Manhattan:

According the to the Dutch map blog, Studiekring Historische Cartografie, The Netherlands has issued a 5 Euro coin commemorating the 400th anniversary Henry Hudson's discovery of the island of Manhattan, soon to be the city of New Amsterdam, later New York. (Why'd they change it? I can't say. Maybe they like it better that way.)

My best understanding of the Dutch text, using an online translator: The front shows, along with an inset of Queen Beatrix, the exact structures of Manhattan anno 2009. The artist has given the coin a 3D impression of of Southern Manhattan. The back of the coin has the landscape of Manhattan anno 1609, accurately reflected thanks to scientific research of the Wildlife Conservation society in New York.

To my Dutch readers, please feel free to tell me more!

Studiekring Historische Cartografie is another great map blog. The love of maps is universal!

UPDATE 4/8: I knew I could count on the friendly Dutch people to help me out. Here is a link to the English translation

Labels: , ,

Make Way for the Amero, the Urban Legend Reference site, today addressed the rumor that the United States will soon replace its currency with the Amero. This new currency would combine the Canadian and United States Dollars with the Mexican Peso to create a single economic union, not unlike the European Community's Euro.

While Cartophilia does not wish to feed the paranoid fears of the wing-nuts, we will heartily endorse this new currency, as long as it includes a map! Daniel Carr of DC-Coin and the Moonlight Mint has created a collectible fantasy Amero coin that does just that:

It is rumored that the postage stamps of this new economic union will feature black helicopters...


Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Aaron Burr for President Leads to a Balanced Italy

Oh, the fun we have finding things while looking for something else...

Recently, Mrs. Cartophiliac returned from a trip to Phoenix to visit an old friend. She posted several photos from her trip on Flickr, including several from this art installation, "Monument to the Unelected".

But wait! says the history geek cartophile, shouldn't this sign...

look like this?
I decided to assume the artist was being ironic or something like that...

So, who is this artist? I wondered. A bit of Googling revealed Nina Katchadourian as the culprit. Wait, I know that name... Of course! Last year I highlighted her piece of map art, Coastal Merger

A visit to her website reveals many other examples of her carto-art, including this piece from a series entitled, Geographic Pathologies

But this reminds me of yet another map...

Chromatic Diplomacy, a variant of the classic boardgame, Diplomacy. Chromatic is five-player variant but on a symmetrical map in an attempt to make it geographically balanced.


Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

San Serriffe

Cartophilia does not need April Fools day to publish maps of imaginary countries... but more respectable publications, such as The Guardian, have reputations to uphold. Don't you know?

On April 1, 1977, the Guardian published a seven-page supplement devoted to the previously unknown island state of San Serriffe.

More details at The Museum of Hoaxes.

Labels: ,